Do this 20-minute yoga sequence every morning to get fitter and happier in 2021
You need to let your health take priority in 2021. And the first step in this path is to start your days early. Doing yoga early in the morning ensures that it becomes a regular habit. There are higher chances of you sticking to your resolve to getting healthy, when you can build a consistent routine to your yoga practice.
There are various other benefits to an early morning yoga practice. The hour is a quiet one allowing you time to gather and organize your thoughts.
It is also easy to plan your day ahead with a calm mind which helps in better decision making. Waking up early also results in sleeping early which is healthy for the body and your metabolism. While yoga can be done at any time of the day, at your convenience—mornings are recommended as they clear the mind and keep you feeling energetic the whole day.
If you don’t know where to begin, then here’s a 20-minute yoga sequence you can start the day with:
1. Start with sukhasana or the happy pose
Sit in a cross-legged position. Place your hands on your knees, palms facing upwards in prapthi mudra. Sit with your back straight.
2. Move to ujjai pranayama, which is a breathing technique
- Sit in any comfortable pose. Straighten your back and close your eyes
- Place your left hand, palm-side up, on your left knee
- Contract your throat and breathe in from your nose
- As you inhale, make an audible sound
- After you have slowly filled your lungs with air, make an ‘O’ shape with your lips and exhale through it
- You may begin by practicing this breathing technique for five minutes a day and gradually increase it with time.
3. Move onto baddha konasana or bound angle pose
Begin with your legs stretched out. Fold your legs and bring the soles of your feet together. Pull your heels closer to your pelvis. Gently push your knees down. Empty air from your stomach, lean your upper body to tilt forward, and place your forehead on the floor.
4. Next, do santolanasana or plank pose
Lie flat on your stomach and place your hands under your shoulders, with your toes touching the ground. With an inhalation, lift your body up and keep your knees straight. Align the pelvis and spine placing your wrists under your shoulders. Keep your arms kept straight and hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
5. Try Naukasana or boat pose
Sit down with your legs forward and lift your legs 45° off the floor. Lean back gently so your upper body is also at the same angle. Balance your body weight keeping knees straight (or bent, depending on how comfortable you are). Extend your hands to the side. Engage your abdominal muscles and straighten your back.
6. Next up, samakonasana or straight angle pose
Begin in samasthithi and lift your arms up. Join your palms and slowly tilt your upper body forward at your pelvis. Lower your upper body until it is parallel to the ground. Try to keep your legs straight with a very slight bend at the knees. Ensure that your back is not hunched and your spine is straight. Focus your gaze forward. Remain in this posture for 30 seconds.
7. Move onto utkatasana or chair pose
Begin in samasthithi. Join palms at your heart chakra and raise your arms up. Bend your knees and slowly lower your pelvis. Ensure that your pelvis is parallel to the floor with a 90 degree bend at the knees. Align your ankles and knees in one straight line. Focus your gaze towards your namaskar and keep your back straight.
8. Finish with balasana or child’s pose
Kneel down on your mat and sit on your heels. Exhale and bend forward with your upper body as you place your forehead down on the floor. Ensure that your pelvis rests on the heels.
There are many benefits of waking up early in the morning
When you awake early, your metabolism gets a boost. Practising at least 20-30 minutes of yoga in the morning activates your digestive system. This helps nutrients to be transported smoothly through the body.
Mornings are the best time if you are looking for weight loss solutions. This is because exercise at this time of the day causes carbs and fats to metabolize faster. This is a comprehensive guide to your 20-minute morning workout. Grab your yoga mat to begin with some light breathing exercises before you move to asanas.